MALDON AND BURNHAM STANDARD- A Stanford-le-Hope fisherman caught an enormous swordfish in the Caribbean sea off the island of St Lucia.
The fish measured around 7 feet in length and weighed a whopping 400 pounds.
Geoff Galer, 58, who caught the fish with the aid of his wife Alli, 54, said he battled it for an hour and forty minutes before reeling the giant Blue Marlin in.
He said: “I don’t think I could ever, ever catch a fish bigger than that! I’m a big lad and trust me, I’m nearly 60 years old and after one hour I was nearly finished.
“It just went on for so long. When I saw how big it was I couldn’t believe it.”
“Everyone I meet I have told about it, and they just can’t believe it either. When my mate saw it, he thought it was a blow-up fish.”
“I can guarantee it wasn’t because it nearly killed me!”
The couple were holidaying on their 35th wedding anniversary at Marigot Bay when they landed the beast.
Previous giant fish caught by British fishermen include a 10 stone Siamese carp caught in Thailand and a 76 lb cod in Norway.
Mr Galer, of Abbotts Drive, said he was only sorry not have been able to let it go free again, as the bait had ripped its lip.
He said: “Normally we let them go, it was a shame I couldn’t let it go but what’s done is done.”
But local fishermen were celebrating after their catch netted them around $5,000 US dollars in swordfish steak sales.
Mr Galer did reluctantly accept a Blue Marlin cocktail to celebrate after his epic battle.
He said: “The snout was long and hard as rock. I’ve never seen anything like it.”